National Geographic : 1947 Oct
The National Geographic Magazine rl Men Handy with a Hammer Put "Snowshoes" on a Tractor With wooden extension pieces on the treads, the heavy D-6 snow tractor presented a larger surface to the snow and thus made easier progress across the vast wastes of sandlike never. After mapping this region, Captain Dufek's command again was sent eastward across the Bellingshausen Sea as far as the western shore of the Palmer Peninsula. It again was dogged by bad weather in one of the most dangerous areas in the world. Few planes were able to get into the air along this coast of "hell holes." Great glaciers flow downward through high mountain passes and empty into bays which cut far into the land. Heavy cold air from the Polar Plateau falls over these glaciers, causing frequent winds of 50 to 80 miles an hour. They come through the bays like exhausts through pipes. As a result, the mouths of these bays are almost impassable, although there may be a dead calm a few miles farther north. These exhaust valves of the tremendous energies stored up over the continent are scattered all along the coast. Planes of this group, on the short flights they were able to make, passed over the region of "ice volcanoes," strange formations on the ice shelf west of the Palmer Peninsula. These are gigantic bowls of ice with floors as much as a mile in diameter, surrounded by circular walls 100 feet high. On the floors ice blocks are piled in gigantic heaps. It may be that some sort of gas becomes entrapped in the ice when it forms, resulting finally in an explosion and the formation of a crater. When efforts to land by boat on pear-shaped Charcot Island, 70 S., 75 W., where man never has stepped, were thwarted by ice conditions, the group abandoned this section of the Ant arctic and proceeded immediately around the Palmer Peninsula to the Weddell Sea on the other side of the continent. It was desired to send a few missions over 504 ~pss~"